The Tam News

How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

Emily Pavis

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Following 4 long years of silence after the success of his shockingly honest portrayal of the 21st century teenager in “Channel ORANGE,” 28 year old artist Frank Ocean has given his fans what they’ve been waiting for, and so much more.

Not only has Ocean released a follow up album to “Channel ORANGE,” called “Blonde,” he has also delivered an accompanying visual album titled “Endless” through record label Def Jam; an edgy zine by the name of “Boys Don’t Cry,” featuring controversial poems by popular artists including Kanye West, and created drama for the music industry by confusing fans and big music leaders about his relationship with publishing company Def Jam by releasing his album “Blonde” individually through streaming service Apple Music. And all of this in just two days.

“Channel ORANGE” released in July 2012, hit #2 in the US Billboard 100, and #1 in the US Billboard for R&B/Hip-hop albums chart. So far, it looks as if his newest debuted album, “Blonde” will do the same. Composed of 17 tracks, 2 of which are monologues, “Blonde” is a powerful exhibition of Ocean’s unashamed individuality. It is at the same time original, artistic, and creative, offering an original set list.

Ocean starts off the album slow with “Nikes,” portraying emotions that one would feel during a break up. It is accompanied by an authentic, old-skool style 5 minute music video.  The song is is made up of haunting electronic style vocals that float over a deep, mysterious bass, and provides enough emotional tension to transport any listener back to every hardship they’ve ever gone through. The second song, “Ivy,” moves away from electronica to more of an indie vibe with an electric guitar, including vocals which create a melancholy yet beautiful sound, able to soften even the hardest of hearts.

Ocean soon flips a switch, and steers away from the tune of a break up with tracks “Self Control,” “Good Guy,” and “Nights.” With these songs, Ocean begins to talk about the growth of a new relationship. Featuring high pitched vocals from swedish rapper Yung Lean in the intro, “Self Control” tells the story of Ocean’s desire towards the song’s focal point through inconsistent, random tones which auspiciously piece together to form the perfect puzzle.

The brief track of “Good Guy” tells more of a story about Ocean’s homosexuality rather than a song to vibe to. Although “Good Guy” may be a song hard to connect with for some, “Nights” is a simple hit for the more extensive crowd. Through this track, Ocean was successfully able to reminisce on a past relationship, while keeping the listener interested and curious as to what the next verse will deliver. He dives into the piece heavily with aggression, yet at its softest form. Towards the end of the first minute, he provides the pre-hook with faster, upbeat lyrics, and closes with a sad, softened tone.

Monologues “Be Yourself” and “Facebook Story”, each tell their own narrative, as well as adding to the bigger, fringe feel of the complete album. “Be Yourself” features a woman playing the “mother hen” roll, demanding that her child be himself and avoid consuming alcohol and doing drugs such as marijuana and cocaine to potentially fit into a certain crowd. “Facebook Story” describes a scenario where virtual social media comes in the way of relationships. A French man with a heavy accent explains how his girlfriend of three years accused him of cheating because he would not accept her Facebook friend request in that exact moment.

Frank Ocean has single handedly done what no one ever knew could be possible. By releasing “Blonde” individually through an exclusive deal with Apple Music, he has broken off from the mainstream music labels, as well as releasing an authentic set list which musically portrays his personality. Every piece in “Blonde” comes together to form an overall beautiful story.

After listening to all 17 tracks, I can easily acknowledge the skill and talent Ocean possess by having the ability to uniquely express his exact emotions to listeners through lyrics and melody. The way Ocean delivered “Blonde” as well as “Endless” and “Boys Don’t Cry” was potentially even more impressive than his last album, “Channel ORANGE” as a whole.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    Barbara Owens: We owe it to Owens

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    Payton Pelaez: A Sweet Success

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    A Master at Her Craft

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    From Missing to Marking

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    Dedication to Education

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    Keep Your Blindfolds On

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Food

    Flores: A Taste of Mexico

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    Profile: Robert Amaral

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    I’m Vegan, But…

  • How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry

    Lifestyles

    All Wrapped Up

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Tamalpais High School
How Frank Ocean Single Handedly Destroyed Every “Norm” in the Music Industry